A few years ago, I accepted the call as the pastor of Mayhill Baptist Church. I was coming out of a difficult pastorate and was wounded. I get a chuckle now because I’d told God I didn’t want to go anywhere unless it was closer to my parents in the Dallas area.
The reason for that was simple: I was hurting and in need of a time of healing. I thought to be close to my folks, longtime friends, and lifelong mentors would serve as a safety-net of sorts.
But God had other plans.
Instead of sending me closer to my support system, he sent me to an entirely different state where I didn’t know a soul. What’s more, it was twice as far from home as I’d ever been.
I didn’t know a whole lot about my new church family, let alone the state I now call home, but we packed all of our worldly goods to head west as the pastor of an old, tiny church in need of revitalization.
Truth be told, we both needed revitalization.
They needed a new start. I needed a new start. And though I couldn’t see it then, I knew that step of faith would be for my good and God’s glory.
Three years later and to God’s glory and praise, the church has grown from a few to many, and God has saved just shy of 30 people.
Three years later and thanks be to God, we’ve healed, I’ve made numerous friends in and out of the church, and I’m continuing to grow as a pastor, preacher, and disciple-maker.
Sure, it would’ve been nice to have, in March 2017, a long, drawn-out map from God to see forward to what I know now, but the Lord calls us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Walk by Faith.
Jesus took many steps on earth that ultimately led to Calvary. He knew the plan, He knew the mission, yes, but we’re not Jesus.
So, we may not know every part of the map God lays out before us, but we do know the mission: make disciples. Further, we’re told how: by baptizing (evangelism) and teaching (discipleship), knowing He’s with us as we go (Matthew 28:19-20).
Thus, as we aim to live like Jesus, we can walk by faith in obedience to the mission. I’ve never been in the army, let alone a military mission, but as I reflected on this, I remembered a race I ran a few years ago.
There was no map, and to make matters worse, my running watch was dead. That’s what runners often call “running naked,” but it has nothing to do with clothes––you just run, and kinda hope you get to where you’re going.
The air-horn blew, and I was off, mainly by faith, with a pack of runners on a humid summer morning in Texas. Step-by-step, I ran, and thankfully, there were many markers along the way to let me know I was on the course.
Not to push the metaphor too far, but life is like that sometimes. We may not have a full-fledged map, though we do have a Bible. We may not have a watch to let us know when we’re almost finished, though the unknown course before us is well-marked by Scripture to let us know if we’re on the path (Psalm 119:105).
As you aim to live like Jesus today, trust Him. You don’t know what next year holds, let alone tomorrow, but you do know who holds it––the God of the universe.
Therefore, walk by faith in obedience, step-by-step, and you’ll get to where He’s taking you. As you go, make disciples. As you go, love God and others. As you go, with the Bible as your guide, move forward to the glory of God.